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Call it Out: 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Victoria

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Research tells us that violence often spikes in times of disasters. Imagine being isolated and forced to stay home with an abusive partner. The stark reality for many women and children is that life has only got worse over the past few months.

Respect Victoria’s ‘Respect Women: Call it out’ campaign reminds us that everyone has a role to play in preventing family violence and calling out sexism, sexual harassment and disrespect towards women. Respect Victoria urges all community members to be 'active bystanders'. This does not mean citizens are expected to detect, intercept and stop violence but rather to not ignore signs of violence.

This isn’t just about women standing up for women. Men also need to stand up for women - and stand up to other men - when they see abusive, disrespectful or violent behaviour. To change the behaviour, we must change the culture - and changing culture requires everyone to take action.

As front line providers of essential services, councils often see first-hand the devastating impact of abuse, whether it be financial, physical or emotional. To support councils continue their critical work, the MAV has received funding to coordinate the ‘Respect Women: Call It Out’ campaign for the 16 Days of Activism 2020 initiative. The initiative will begin on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and run until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

Cr Coral Cross, President of the MAV, welcomed the opportunity to lead the initiative alongside Respect Victoria.

“The MAV is delighted to coordinate this year’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence initiative, and to once again support councils and community organisations to participate and innovate.” said Cr Ross.

The funding enables the MAV to offer small grants of $2000 to all Victorian councils and community organisation's to expand and strengthen their capacity to engage with communities.

“Local government plays a significant role in supporting, encouraging and shaping the communities that we serve. We must all work together to call out gender inequality, discrimination, and sexism,” said Cr Ross.

Over the coming months, the MAV will partner with the Domestic Violence Resource Centre Victoria and the Victorian Council of Social Service, to coordinate the delivery of the state-wide campaign.

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